Zynga.com平台的每款游戏都在游戏活动屏幕界面右上方植入自己的Jolt Meter（如上图所示），玩家会受到这个Jolt能量系统的限制，因此无法随心所欲地向其他随机用户提供帮助（游戏邦注：不过zFrends用户不会受 此影响，他们仍然可以得到无限帮助）。玩家成功回应其他用户的求助信息时就会耗损一个Jolt点数，这些Jolt点数每隔5分钟才会重新填满。
不过Jolt Meter可以成为促使用户购买City Cash、Estate Points等虚拟货币而非等待他人施以援手的一个强制性手段。这种做法究竟会如何影响Zynga.com平台整体发展形势，又有多少玩家愿意在此掏钱消费，这些情况值得关注。
报道称在2012年1月份，farmville2.com域名所有者是土耳其人士，但在2月10日则移交至KMW Law知识产权律师David Caplan名下，在4月15日又转至与Zynga合作的品牌保护机构MarkMonitor手中（游戏邦注：Zynga与MarkMonitor的合作始于2007年）。
但有观察者认为，这未必能说明Zynga正在开发《FarmVille 2》，因为Zynga此前曾两次针对现存的游戏开发续作，但两次尝试都不算成功（新游戏内容的用户比原版游戏更少），Zynga已经针对《FarmVille》推出多个扩展游戏内容，发布《FarmVille 2》或许并非上策。
3）Zynga最近再次发起一项问卷调查，询问玩家对于《FarmVille》VIP用户这一功能的看法。其中问题包括：首先，VIP用户的选择标准是什么，应该通过推荐的好友人数，玩家等级，购买的Farm Cash还是其他标准来评选VIP？其次，《FarmVille》VIP用户可以得到什么好处，究竟是享受Farm Cash折扣优惠，获得更优质的客服支持，还是一枚可供炫耀的徽章？
5）据日本媒体报道，东京上市公司KLab日前宣布收购社交游戏公司Pikkle，后者成立于2005年，其主管David “DC” Collier（英国人）将加入KLab团队协助处理公司国际事务。
1）Zynga.com becomes slightly less useful with addition of Jolts
by Brandy Shaul
Ah, Zynga.com. A website with so much potential, allowing gamers to play CityVille, CastleVille, Hidden Chronicles and more with players from all over the world, all at the same time. What better way is there to make progress in your favorite games than to post a request for an item and have it answered by potentially hundreds of thousands of players all at once? If you ask me, this is a Facebook gamer’s dream come true (regardless of the fact that games like FarmVille and Pioneer Trail still aren’t available to play within). However, as it’s not content with leaving well enough alone, Zynga has now limited just how much progress you can make (and how many players you can help) in a single session via the introduction of “Jolts.”
Each game on Zynga.com now comes with its own Jolt Meter, presented at the top of the gameplay activity ticker on the right side of the screen. If you’re trying to help random players progress in their own games, you’ll now be limited to helping other players with this Jolt energy system. Note: Helping zFriends has remained an unlimited process. Now, a single successful click on another player’s feed item will take one Jolt point, with these points recharging at a rate of one Jolt every five minutes.
On the one hand, this helps some players that have a difficult time helping anyone, as there are many posts that are often clicked on so quickly by so many players that it seems impossible to gain your own rewards therein. On the other hand, posts fly by so much more quickly than one every five minutes (more like one every five seconds), that it seems rather inevitable that some posts will now be ignored entirely either due to this overwhelming amount of posts or lack of worthwhile in-game rewards. What this will likely ultimately result in is a slowdown of progress for players across the board, and where progress slows, players are surely to lose interest.
Ultimately, this entire Jolt Meter seems like a fairly arbitrary limit put into place by Zynga to get users back into purchasing City Cash, Estate Points, etc. in its games rather than asking the community for help. With so many players refusing to pay real money (and for understandable reasons at that), it will be interesting to see how this effects the overall Zynga.com space, and how many players choose to play their games there instead of on Facebook.（source:games）
2）FarmVille 2 looks even more likely, based on domain activity [Report]
by Joe Osborne
Social game monolith Zynga might really be back at the drawing board for FarmVille. DotWeekly reports that there has been lots of activity at the domain “farmville2.com” over the past few months and as recent as April 15. For those keeping score, that’s two signs pointing to a FarmVille sequel after hints of the game were reportedly found in the resume of an advertising fellow.
As of January 2012, the “farmville2.com” domain was owned by some dude in Turkey, according to DotWeekly. Then on Feb. 10, the domain switched hands over to David Caplan, an intellectual property lawyer with firm KMW Law (and registered at GoDaddy.com), DotWeekly reports. Finally, the domain is in the hands of MarkMonitor–a brand protection agency Zynga has worked with since way back in 2007–as of April 15.
Of course, none of this confirms whether Zynga has a FarmVille sequel in the works, but the signs all seem to point in that direction. With this being the most recent sliver of information pointing toward FarmVille 2, there’s only one question to ask: Why? Zynga has tried the direct-sequel approach to its games twice, and twice the attempt has resulted in fewer players than either game had before. Here’s to hoping Zynga has learned a thing or two, because players are on their fifth farm now.（source:games）
3）Zynga wants to know, in theory, what a FarmVille VIP should be
by Joe Osborne
Do you know what time it is? Time for another Zynga survey–that’s what! Like it or not, the creator of FarmVille has posted yet another survey, this time probing FarmVille players for feedback on a feature it’s considering: FarmVille VIPs. The developer looks to recognize its most valuable players with a number of bonus features, but it wants to iron out a few details first.
For one, how should Zynga come to selecting its VIPs? Should it go by friend nominations, player level, how much Farm Cash you’ve purchased or what have you? There are a number of options Zynga are considering for how it should deem a FarmVille player VIP, some of which are fairer than others.
Secondly, what should being a FarmVille VIP mean? Should VIP status bring Farm Cash discounts, better customer support, an in-game badge to brag with or what? Again, the ideas Zynga has brewing range from brilliant to “what the hell are you thinking?” Of course, the survey gives players a chance to provide unique feedback too. We’re kind of bummed that “early access to FarmVille 2″ isn’t in the running to be a VIP bonus, but maybe you can change that.（source:games）
4）Shocker: Free-to-play breathes new life into original EverQuest
by Joe Osborne
No, really, this is a surprise, considering the massively multi-player online game (MMO) is 13 years old. (For frame of reference, this writer was 12 years old when the game released.) The shift to a free-to-play model has been a boon to EverQuest, one the oldest MMOs still in operation.
Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) touted just how effective the game’s new lease on life has been along with a short video, according to GamesIndustry International. Titled “EverQuest: A Living Legend,” SOE took this golden opportunity to make a back-patting fest. But that doesn’t mean the video is without novelty: Much of it is comprised of concept art behind many of the iconic monsters, environments and player races in EverQuest.
Plus, the video features some neat-o comparison shots between how the world of Norrath looked 13 years ago and today. Sure, EverQuest pales in comparison to MMOs released more recently, but the changes are striking. Plus, 150 percent more unique log-ins, a 125 percent jump in item sales and concurrent play boosted by 40 percent are nothing to scoff at. Now we just can’t wait to see which turns out to be more popular: new-old Norrath or new-new Norrath.（source:games）
5）KLab Buys Pikkle To Expand International Business [Social Games]
by Dr. Serkan Toto
Tokyo-based (and listed) KLab has announced it acquired Pikkle, a social gaming company established in 2005. Pikkle was led by Englishman David “DC” Collier who joins KLab to accelerate its international business.
In 2009, Pikkle raised money from Mixi, CyberAgent, and a few other Japanese companies.
According to Japanese media reports, KLab paid 175 million yen (US$2.1 million) to take over Pikkle, which used to provide social games to Mixi and GREE.（source:serkantoto）
6）GameHouse continues towards top ten position with new GM and new games
Developer GameHouse may not have yet made it into the top ten developers like CEO Matt Hulett announced it would when we talked to him in September, but the company has a number of new projects in the works that are planned to accomplish this goal in the near future.
Since September, GameHouse has both surged and dropped in traffic. DAU numbers for the developer show a significant gain in early February, though the numbers have been falling off over the past four weeks. GameHouse now holds the No. 17 spot for MAU and the No. 19 position for DAU. Hulett tells us that unspecified “technical architecture” problems with some of GameHouse’s titles caused this fall off, but the issues have been addressed.
Correction: We originally listed GameHouse as No. 47 by MAU and No. 60 by DAU. This was incorrect. The company is currently No. 17 by MAU and No. 19 by DAU among Facebook game developers.
Hulett believes that GameHouse’s DAU will bounce back and carry it into the top ten developers within a month or so, in part due to the two new games the company has in development. GameHouse is working on a match-3 arcade title as well as a new slots game. Hulett can’t go into details on the latter because it’s still early in the development cycle.
GameHouse already has two slots games in its catalog — Adventure Slots and Slots — but it doesn’t plan to move away from the genre any time soon because they’re just too profitable. According to Hulett, slots games monetize roughly ten times better than arcade titles do.
“With arcade games, you’ll often here of 1 to 3 cents per DAU, but we have a couple of slots games that monetize at 10 to 15 cents per DAU,” he says.”Once you get the cognitive behavior where you loop a whale in, they keep playing and playing and playing to unlock new machines. The game become a race to earn XP in order to unlock the next cool thing.”
Aside from the new games, GameHouse is also bringing in some new talent to help strengthen its social games brands. Jared Brinkley, formerly of developers like Playdom and Tagged, is the company’s new general manager of Social Game Design. Brinkley’s role will be to lead overall design and creative direction for GameHouse’s upcoming social games.
Hulett also believes that one of the big upcoming trends for social games is using Facebook Connect to make titles cross-platform experiences. To this end, GameHouse is working on a Facebook Connect version of Collapse! Blast for iOS. Hulett reminds us that GameHouse has experience with mobile devices, pointing out how the company also has the Android rights to Doodle Jump.
Going from the No. 19 developer by DAU to No. 10 within a few weeks seems possible. The change would require a 3.8 million DAU gain, easily achievable if GameHouse can get one or two games onto our monthly Top 25 list. Even if these titles appeared at the bottom of the chart, they would likely mean at least an extra 2 million DAU for the company.
You can follow GameHouse’s progress on AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.（source:insidesocialgames）
7）Konami Now Boasts 20 Million Social Gamers In Japan [Social Games]
by Dr. Serkan Toto
It’s no secret that Konami is clearly the most successful of all video game makers in the Japanese social gaming market. Their flagship title, Dragon Collection, for example, just hit 6 million users on GREE.
And now Konami announced that it now counts a whopping 20 million registered players across all their social games in Japan.
The company explains:
In addition to “DRAGON COLLECTION,” which has garnered over 6 million registered users, and “SENGOKU COLLECTION,” which has garnered over 3 million registered users, the number of several other social games registered users are still growing, including “CROWS X WORST – Saikyou Densetsu,” based on the popular mangas CROWS and WORST, the Japan Professional Football League-licensed “J.League™ Dream Eleven,” and the original title “HISHO COLLECTION.”
To commemorate the milestone, Konami started various in-game “thank you” campaigns that allow users to get points and special virtual items for a limited period of time.
The company reported 15 million users for their titles in February.
For context, Bandai Namco hit 10 million registered users for their social games in Japan in January (although this number is surely around 15 million now).（source:serkantoto）
8）Facebook Targets May 17th For IPO Date
This just in: According to multiple sources close to the company, Facebook is eyeing IPO on May 17th — depending on whether the SEC agrees that all the reams of paperwork (including those concerning its recent acquisition of Instagram) are in order.
This is in line with earlier reports that the company was going to hit NASDAQ during the third week of May. And also in line with what a single source told CNBC at length, that the social network was considering either the 17th or the 24th to go public.
According to our sources, Facebook will be valued at around $100 billion, reflecting current levels of trading in the secondary markets (and avoiding SEC scrutiny). Other reports say that the company wants to raise $10 billion at a $100 billion valuation, but like Kara Swisher we are hearing that it will be less.
“Investors want as high a price as possible so that the secondary market won’t look like a problem,” said one of our sources. With 2.51 billion fully-diluted shares outstanding, the valuation desired would price the company at around $40 a share.
We’re also hearing that the Millennial Media IPO was pushed up to early April because Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, which were underwriting both offerings, wanted to “make room” for Facebook. Mobile strategy issues and issues around privacy are of the most concern for institutional investors, and some of the former where ameliorated by the Instagram buy.
This biggest issue with these set date plans is that lot of stuff can happen in four weeks, including the collapse of the European economy, another oil crisis or the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.（source:techcrunch）